Goodbye and thank you for a great ride – One of the oldest and biggest m/m Romance blogs is shutting down, as of January 2, 2014. Reviews by Jessewave started in 2008, and as Wave explains, hosting needs and costs have simply become too substantial for the site’s administrators to keep it going. Jessewave has never accepted paid advertising, so any costs have come from the three individuals who currently run the blog. A major player in m/m Romance Jessewave has posted some very controversial content, but their numbers demonstrate that many authors and readers counted on the site for reviews, articles, and various marketing and promotional opportunities.
“Our stats indicate that to date there have been 361 million hits, 59 million posts accessed, and 6.140 million visitors from 200 countries, with the bulk of visitors from the US, Britain, Canada and Germany. However you may be surprised to learn that we have visitors from Qatar, Togo, Vatican City, Bahrain, Uganda, Kuwait, Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Congo, Djibouti, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Yemen and Rwanda – to mention just a few countries that are not known for being gay friendly. While these numbers may not seem impressive when compared to those of long-established review sites that review a full range of romance books, mostly het romance which is the dominant genre in the publishing industry, (both print and ebooks), and garner huge numbers based on the genre alone, I think our achievement is quite remarkable for a blog that started from such humble beginnings and only reviews male/male books – a very small segment of the romance genre, but clearly there’s a large audience for these books going by our numbers.”Reviews by Jessewave
Take a peek at the world’s most exquisite libraries – It’s pretty much impossible to look upon these libraries and not be awed, inspired, and compelled to pick up the nearest book. Despite all of our digital content, physical books are cultural and historical artifacts, and libraries are architectural representations of the foundational role storytelling has played in the creation and sustenance of every society.CNN
Best Books of 2013 – Although there don’t appear to be any straight genre books on the list, there are some interesting offerings on PW’s Best of 2013 list, including Lawrence Wright’s expose of Scientology, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief, Hanya Yanagihara’s compelling The People in the Trees, and Carla Kaplan’s Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance, a book that the cultural historian in me wants to read, but the genre fiction reader sighed, ‘gee, another book about white people; how novel.’ Publishers Weekly
BookBub Closing In on Two Million Members – Created by Josh Schanker, BookBub was built on the intention to provide a promotional pricing and marketing space to feature ebooks by authors who did not already have broad name recognition. BookBub now works with everyone from the Big 5 to smaller pubs, and self-published authors. The service cites the success of Kristin Hannah’s Between Sisters promotional pricing at 99 cents as one example of its potential impact on an author’s sales and name recognition.
“BookBub functions as an advertorial, relying on an in-house editorial team to select books distributed via a daily e-mail to its subscribers. A title must be marked down by at least 50%, be a full-length work, and not featured on BookBub in the last six months in order to be considered. The company receives 50 to 100 submissions per day from publishers and authors that meet those minimum requirements, and on average, BookBub editors select around 20% of submissions, most of which are listed at $2.99 or below, and many are 99¢ or free.” Publishers Weekly
Whats the Trouble With Selfies? Speculative Fiction and the Mirror Effect – There are myriad theoretical problems and lapses of logic in this post, and normally I wouldn’t even link to it, because of that. However, what really caught my eye was this bit about how literary fiction is the ‘proper’ place for the investigation of social identity, while speculative fiction is somehow ‘too close’ to social reality to represent it well. I’m still trying to figure out how speculative fiction, with its “aliens, dragons, orcs, and even or especially . . . far-future selves” is so much closer to reality than portrayals of actual human beings in literary fiction.
“Nothing is gained by mapping our fragmented ethnic and sexual identities onto our fiction with the fidelity of a cellphone camera photo. Well, nothing except approval from the right-thinking crowd, which, I admit, can be quite the headrush. But please let’s leave this stuff to lit-fic, shall we? Dissection and interrogation of contemporary identities is exactly what lit-fic does, and it does it well. Speculative fiction does not, precisely because it’s always half a step, at least, away from contemporary reality. So other stuff gets mixed in with the identity signifiers and everyone gets upset.”Amazing Stories Magazine
isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnÊ¼t know, didnÊ¼t think about, or didnÊ¼t feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!